The total bill for hosting Ukrainian refugees in hotels reached 605 million euros.
The state has more than 700 hotel contracts to house refugees and these have expired in recent weeks.
About 41 million euros are owed to hotels in outstanding bills and 564 million euros have already been paid in ““Ukraine accommodation and related services,” according to a spokesman for the Department of Integration, reports Independent.
Minister Roderic O’Gorman has called for the redeployment of 70 more staff in his department to help clear the backlog and pay hotels what they owe.
However, the government is scrambling to renew most contracts and find new hotels after stark warnings were sent to ministers in recent weeks that 17,000 Ukrainians could be left without a place to go by the end of March if current capacity was reduced by 20%.
TDs and Senators across the coalition have expressed concerns about housing refugees and finding more housing.
Rural politicians also reported being approached by hoteliers about unpaid state bills.
The spokesman said some are not paid on time due to lack of documentation and because invoices have to be filled in correctly as they involve funding from the state.
“It is important to note an invoice is only overdue if it is correct for payment but not paid within the agreed timeframe,” they said, reports Independent.
More than 75,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Ireland since the outbreak of war.
The vast majority of these are housed in hotels, and the state has recently begun charging daily rates for meals.
However, the government is under increasing pressure to accommodate arriving migrants as housing is running out and protests against asylum seekers are taking place across the country.
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